Prague Waterpark Receives Complaints about Burkini-Clad Customers

A similar debate raged all summer long in France last year; now it seems the burkini wars have come to Prague

Aquapalace Praha, a waterpark in Čestlice near Prague—recently named among the most-visited tourist attractions in the country—is a popular spot for family outings during these sultry summer days.

But a social media flare-up yesterday suggests that not everyone is welcome, at least according to the group of irate commenters who reacted to photos of two Muslim women swimming there with their children over the weekend, clad in burkinis.

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Many of the ensuing flood of negative comments left on the company’s Facebook page, which came after an anti-Islam group (Blok proti islamizaci) shared the pictures on its social networks, took the stance that burkinis don’t belong in Prague pools:

“Burkinis are the symbol of Islam…Islam is the worst ideology and plague of the world…every Islamist is a Muslim,” one angry woman posted on the Aquapalace page.

Another commenter expressed outright disgust:

“Ugh, I [will] never set foot in there, it makes me sick! They should respect our culture and our customs!”

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Numerous comments, however, expressed tolerance, applauding Aquapalace for this official statement, posted to its Facebook page yesterday:

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“All visitors must obey the same rules of hygiene. A particular point, however, [regarding] bathing or burkini shirts, a bathing suit shrouding the greater part of the body…The clothing is made of material suitable for swimming. This is a worldwide trend, with which we do not only encounter in Aquapalace Praha. In this case, the customer does not violate any rules.”

Burkinis are full-body swimsuits covering everything but the hands and feet and face. They fulfill the requirements of a hijab and are deemed acceptable from a religious perspective.

In France, a number of resorts have embraced the burkini ban despite the fact that the French high administrative court ruled last year that it was illegal.

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